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The importance of social networks for entrepreneurs is widely recognized by the scientific and practitioner communities. For more than three decades, networking has been one of the major subjects of interest both in entrepreneurship and women’s entrepreneurship research. Multiple studies have demonstrated how entrepreneurs use social networks to identify opportunities and to access key resources in order to exploit them. Networking activities provide entrepreneurs with access to e.g., business-related information and knowledge, moral support and advice, new business contacts including potential clients, suppliers or investors. In sum, social networks play a key role in the entrepreneurial process, bringing important benefits for entrepreneurs in terms of human, social and financial capital.
In order to seize these multiple advantages, and in face of the predominance of historical, barely accessible ‘old boys’ networks’, a growing number of women’s networks have been created and developed over the years, bringing together the community of female entrepreneurs and top managers. In Luxembourg, for instance, the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Femmes Leaders, Zonta Clubs, Girls in Tech, Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors, Mumpreneurs, are all well-known examples of female structured networks in the business and entrepreneurship world. A lot of these networks also exist on the European and international levels, connecting numerous female entrepreneurs from different regions, contexts an…


Women’s business networks tend to be depicted as secondary, or as putting women at a disadvantage in terms of entrepreneurship success. Challenging current views on gender and women entrepreneurs’ networks, this study reveals the key role of women’s networks in the creation and development of strong and lasting business relationships. We present women’s “collaborative entrepreneurship” as a powerful feminist networking practice. The research results are based on a set of qualitative, in-depth interviews with ten female entrepreneur dyads, who met through a female network in Luxembourg, and have been working in close collaboration over the years. Through three key benefits related to sisterhood, empowerment, and innovation, women’s collaborative entrepreneurship appears as particularly adapted to the contemporary economic context.

Christina Constantinidis
Christina Constantinidis is a Professor in entrepreneurship at ESG UQAM, where she leads the research axis on entrepreneurship, gender and inclusion in the Research Chair ‘Entrepreneurship, Alterity and Society’. Her research work focuses on studying gender dynamics in entrepreneurship and family business, and has been published in international academic journals, book chapters and reports. She is a Member of the editorial board of the Revue internationale PME and a Review Board Member of the Family Business Review. She co-created and manages a thematic group on entrepreneurship and gender, active in the two largest research associations (AIREPME and AEI) in the French-speaking world.
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